Animal Care Services has ‘zero tolerance’ for pet owners neglecting animals during arctic blast

Since Sunday, leaders with ACS said they have received more than 400 animal neglect claims.

SAN ANTONIO — Animal Care Services in San Antonio said it has “zero tolerance” for pet owners leaving their animals outside in the freezing cold.

Since Sunday, leaders with ACS said they have received more than 400 animal neglect claims.

So far, they have issued more than 30 citations for tethering in the cold.

ACS said animals that have to be outside should have a proper shelter which includes three walls and a roof. Plus, access to food and water.

Richard Grant said he tried to call 311 to report his neighbor’s dog on Sunday but could not get through.

“I mean you wouldn’t stay outside in the cold when its freezing, why would you allow your dog to do that?” Grant said.

He said he could hear the dog whimpering outside on the front porch.

“It’s really, really awful how they treat them,” Grant said.

Animal Care Services had 19 officers working Monday to address claims of neglect. The Director of ACS, Shannon Sims said they prepared ahead of time to add extra staff for the artic blast.

“Obviously, I would much rather give somebody a citation and have them go to explain to the judge or hopefully get their attention than to have that animal to freeze to death,” Sims said. “At which time, I would be moving forward with potentially felony charges for animal cruelty.”

Sims said some citations could cost people up to $2,000.

“Bring them inside,” Grant said. “No one wants to hear them crying in the middle of the night, it’s disgusting.”

If you call 311, it could take ACS up to three days to investigate the complaint. Another option is to call SAPD’s non-emergency line at 210-207-7273.

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